Saturday, August 29, 2009

First Day of School: Third Grade

We all made it through the first week of school! Getting up at 5:30 AM cured us of any lingering jet lag, so that has been a good thing. It also cured Abigail of any problems of being able to fall asleep that she was having. So we are off and running. Brett too has been pretty busy with new classes and new students. It is a good thing he likes his job so much. Darn it, I forgot to take a picture of him in his new school clothes!

Abbey's teacher Mrs. Errico seems very organized, and that is such a blessing. When I walked Abbey to class that first day, she was right there meeting each student and helping them feel comfortable. She asked me a few questions about who would be picking Abbey up and other procedures. She even wrote down my answers. I really appreciated that. Dropping your child off on her first day of school gets a little more emotional and worrisome when you do it in a foreign country.

Abbey quickly found her name card at her table and sat down. Her name was printed on one side of the name card and then written in cursive on the other. It made me remember the joys of third grade, especially being able to learn how to write in cursive. I've never been an artist, but handwriting has always been my thing. Abbey, on the other hand, is not looking forward to that part. I guess she leans more towards her dad in that way. He had to take remedial handwriting during recess and still talks about that scarring experience.

With the start of another school year, as always, I have been feeling a little melancholy about my baby growing up. It is always a time for moms to mark the passing of time and long for the less complex baby days with warm snuggles and rocking chair closeness.

Abigail further illustrated her race to grow up later in the week when we were driving home from the store. I was singing one of my favorite songs "You Are My Sunshine" to her to help keep my sanity as we dodged the random crazed Land Cruiser on the roads of Doha. This song has always been my Abbey song, and I have often changed the words while singing it, putting in lines like, "You are my Abbey, and you're a sweetheart. I love you more than you can know . . . " I know, very silly, but one of my favorite things to do with my children and grandchildren.

So after I finished singing, I was basking in my great mothering practices that build up my daughter's self-esteem, and went and asked a dangerous question. "So do you like it when I sing to you like that and make up words about you for the song?" Without hesitating, Abbey said in a matter of fact tone, "Yes, but don't ever do it in front of my friends." That kind of stunned me and I got pretty quiet as I thought about how early this was for her to already be embarrassed by her mom. (It also made me think of an old movie with Barbara Stanwyck titled Stella Dallas. Check it out if you haven't seen it.) Just as I was about to get my feelings hurt, Abbey piped up in the back again and said, "If your feelings are hurt, you are the one who asked." She was right, so I had no one to blame but myself for now knowing that my baby no longer looked at me with blind admiration. Sad, I know.


Kristy said...

Oh, my silly sweet Abbey! She's an eight-year-old teenager!

Amy said...

:) She's beautiful!

When she's all grown up she'll be begging you to put her name in songs again...

lbwillow said...

Singing to your children and changing the names/words is so sweet. I'll bet when she grows up and becomes a mom, she will do the same thing for her children.

ljanlyons94 said...

My Mom always used to sing "you are MY Sunshine" to me. I thought she had the most beautiful voice. Now at 92 that is her song for her cat. Tells how far up I have moved. It also tells you the loyalty of her cat, it sounds like fingernails on a chalkboard. But, it tickles me to death that she loves that old cat that much. That little cat has helped her recover and get home from many frailities of age. Okay, so we tell her she has to get better and go home, because no one else will sing to the cat.

Richardson Five said...

Abiail! look so grown up. Good luck with school this year! I am sure you will do great. We still check your blog.